Saturday, October 24, 2009

For the first time on the trip, we finally slept in, until around 8am. It must have been because it was a Saturday. We walked down to the Central Market in the middle of downtown. It was frankly amazing, in terms of quality, quantity, and variety. There were tons of nuts and sausages...and also fruits and vegetables, Asian and German food, and pretty much anything else you could think of. It made us want to cook something, but alas we were in a hotel room for the forseeable future.

We walked over to the Botanic Garden, and got there just before the daily 10:30 guided walk started. The plants weren't much to write home about, at least compared to other gardens we've visited, but it was interesting to hear about how the aboriginal people used the plants, figured out how to get maximum benefit from each of them, and kept in harmony with nature. The Europeans who settled seemed to just clear-cut anything they didn't immediately deem useful. The garden did have a bunch of very tall trees that were impressive, some Auracarias as well as Kauri trees. There was also a nice subtropical garden, but it was quite small.

We came back to the hotel before lunch, and tried to figure out where to go. First we tried Alphutte, but it was closed. Then we tried Amalfi, and it was closed too. So we ended up eating on the balcony at Daniel's, overlooking the very busy Rundle-Frome intersection. At least from what we saw, Adelaide is a very young person's city. There is a major university ("uni") on the North Terrace, and perhaps because of that, we saw an inordinate number of young people everywhere we went in Adelaide. Perhaps not coincidentally, we saw an inordinate number of sports cars. It seemed over half of the cars we saw were small four door sportscars, with spoilers and aerodynamic styling. There were also a fair amount of "sporty" small pickups, somewhat like the old El Caminos that used to be sold in the US.

After lunch we went back to East Terrace Continental, this time for drinks. We just sat outside on the sidewalk people-watching, and ended up seeing multiple wedding parties. One was taking a bunch of pictures right near us, which required the bride to keep walking back and forth across the street, which seemed a bit odd. Hopefully the wedding ceremony had already happened, as her dress almost certainly got dirty from all the walking. The bride and groom, plus the wedding party, eventually hopped into a bunch of old Jaguars that pulled up in unison to get them. It was pretty impressive - they seemed to be having a good time.

After leaving ETC, we walked up and down Hutt Street, but didn't see very much, so we walked back to Rundle Street and got dessert at Cocolat, a chocolate-themed pace we had heard numerous good reviews of. Justin got a regular hot chocolate and Crystal got a chili-infused hot chocolate, which had a nice kick at the end. We also split a cocktail they made with chocolate and cream liquers, plus ice cream. Lastly, we split a chocolate raspberry muffin. Everything was very good, and we decided we didn't need dinner anytime soon. So we just went back to the room and packed for Kangaroo Island. Since we would be there only one night, and would be coming back to the same hotel, we put nearly everything in two bags that we would leave at the hotel. We packed what little stuff we needed into one carry-on, mostly warmer clothes we brought just in case. Fortunately we did bring them, because the weather report for KI was cool and blustery.

To kill time before dinner, we walked down to Rundle Mall, but it was closed, so we just walked over to Amalfi to see if they had any outdoor tables. They were full, so they told us to come back at 8:30. We went over to the Elephant Bar, a pub just off of Rundle. We caught the locals watching a soccer match between Adelaide and Melbourne, and they were really into it, so even though we had no rooting interest we still had a good time. We went back to Amalfi, but it was still packed, so we went back to the hotel and packed some more and watched TV.

We gave Amalfi one more chance, and fortunately we did. Everything was very good, from the wine to the appetizer (called an entree in Australia) to the mains (what we call an entree in the US). The garlic bread was especially good. Also, our waiter (who may have been the proprietor as well) was very good, chatting with us for extended periods. He was orignally from the UK, but came to Australia about 30 years ago. He told us a lot about the city - confirming it is a young person's city - and what he liked about living in Australia. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and went to sleep so we would be rested for our whirlwind tour of Kangaroo Island.